Nearly 100 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. How can users help their video shine in the midst of so many other, more popular videos? As with blogging and website traffic recommendations, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the best way to bring viewers into your video universe. Since, like Google, YouTube is run on certain complex algorithms designed to give viewers exactly what they’re looking for, creating not only excellent content but also excellent optimization is incredibly important.
Optimize Your Titles
A good title is the first place to start. Experts say that shorter (under 60 characters), more specific titles tend to work better when attracting viewers. Keep it simple but eye-catching – without a catchy title, no one will click on the link. If the title is misleading or not actually what the video is, then the user will have short view lengths and potentially negative comments from disappointed viewers.
Descriptions Are Key
Next comes the description. Again, a little goes a long way, especially since users are limited to 100 characters. Remember that the viewer only sees a couple lines of text when they’re watching the video unless they click to read more, so those top few lines are the most important. Since YouTube cannot watch any video itself, the description and any tags are crucial for the site to know what the video is about and who will enjoy watching it. Tags are a great way to clarify the video’s intent and define what keywords will be covered throughout the video. When tagging, put the important keywords first, since those will be looked at with the highest importance.
Selecting the Right Category
Choosing a category for the video in “Advanced Settings” when uploading can help YouTube even more with putting this video among other similar videos. During uploading, be sure to change the file name into the title, to make sure the optimization programming picks up on the content of the video, not just the original file name. Again, the computer can only go so far. The YouTube program cannot open files on its own; it needs direction from you, the uploader.
Choose to CC Your Videos
Last but not least is the transcript/closed caption option on YouTube. This is another realm where the program/site can see into the content of the video for important keywords to use for search engines. Not only is it helpful for people who are not listening to the video, but it can also give the site an opportunity to send the video to the perfect searches.
Target a certain audience throughout this whole process, from beginning to end. Focus on what that group will be searching and flood your content with those words. Make it easy for viewers to understand what they will be watching, and make it appealing. The more pathways created for a viewer to access this video, the better the results will be. Happy optimizing!